Are you ready to take the leap into starting and running your own business? This is a big decision. One you’ve likely given a lot of thought to and consulted others on. Whether you’ve done your own research or asked other entrepreneurs for advice, you may feel a little overwhelmed by the wide range of advice you’ve received. We know bad advice is “a dime a dozen.” To help you make well-informed decisions, here are some common business advice adages and tips to think through (and advice you may want to ignore).
1. “Practice Makes Perfect”
Creating a business plan is a traditional first step endorsed by many, especially when you’re in the planning stages of starting a new business. But because things change and you’ll likely encounter hurdles as you venture out on your own, a business plan will likely not account for every obstacle along the way, and will need continuous updates. Some view the time it takes to perfect and update a business plan as valuable time better spent building your business.
Because a typical business plan encourages incorporating market and consumer research and gives you an opportunity to think through a structure for your new venture it may be a good way for you to get started. But investing too much time and resources on perfecting it, may not be the best use of your valuable time.
2. “Under Promise and Over Deliver”
Setting lower expectations and then surpassing them might seem like an easy way to impress your customer, but if he or she expects more to begin with you may be missing the mark. You could be selling your business and capabilities considerably short by not presenting your full potential up front.
3. “Go Big or Go Home”
Maybe you’ve been told not to quit your job, or you’ve heard it’s best to jump 100 percent into your business now. You know starting and running a business takes your time and attention, but deciding when to quit your job is a tough decision. Depending on your personal risk level and financial situation, you may feel uneasy about quitting right now.
It’s important to weigh the benefits and drawbacks to quitting your job. On one hand, you’ll have more time to focus on building and running your new business, but on the other hand your income may be significantly reduced — making it challenging to quit.
4. “If You Want Something Done Right, Do It Yourself”
You have the vision and the drive to start and run your new business, but you don’t have to be an expert on all aspects of your business' operations. For example, if you aren’t confident keeping your own books, it may be wise to hire an accountant or bookkeeper. Mistakes could end up costing you more time and money in the long run. And freeing up time by hiring a bookkeeper grants you more time to focus your skills on building your business.
If you’re like many, managing your business’s taxes on your own may seem like a daunting task. An accountant can help you ensure your taxes are filed properly, on time and that you don’t miss any deductions or make overpayments.
5. “You Have to Spend Money to Make Money”
While starting and running a business does involve spending money, you’ll likely need to keep your expenses down. Among top reasons why small businesses fail include experiencing cash flow problems and running out of cash, according to Entrepreneur.
Coverage You Shouldn’t Ignore
You’ve probably heard a myth or two about the need for business insurance. For example, one common myth is that if you operate your business out of your home, your homeowners policy will cover it. Not so fast, your typical homeowner’s policy will protect against damage to your home, but it may not cover everything related to your home-based business. Or maybe you’ve heard your business is so small you don’t need business insurance. Business insurance can help protect your business from life’s uncertainties — those that can be potentially devastating to your business. No matter the size, your business needs protection.
Not all advice is good advice, but weighing the benefits and drawbacks to all aspects of starting and running your own business is important. Whether you’re trying to get your business off the ground or you’ve been running it like a pro for years, having the right business insurance is something you can’t ignore. Connect with a Farm Bureau agent to discuss your business insurance needs. Owning a business can be complicated, but finding the right coverage doesn’t have to be. Our agents make insurance simple, so you can focus on making your business a success.